Microsoft is taking another step toward making the Xbox One videogame console more like a set-top box, with plans to add digital video recording features for broadcast TV programming — a la TiVo or a cable DVR, but without the monthly subscription fees.
The DVR features, set to roll out next year, will let Xbox One users record live over-the-air TV, schedule recordings and sideload shows to mobile devices for on-the-go viewing, Microsoft announced Tuesday at Gamescon 2015.
The new features will be free, but Xbox One users will need to have purchased and set up the required TV adapter as well as an external hard drive to use them. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the $60 Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One in the U.S. and Canada ($100 in a bundle with an antenna), and the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in 16 European countries and Australia.
Enabling DVR recording requires plugging in a USB hard drive into the console, which the company claimed would have no impact on gameplay performance or ability to save to the console.
The Xbox One’s DVR features will let users download shows to a Windows 10 phone, PC or tablet, and to schedule Microsoft’s over-the-air antenna system, besides allowing users to watch live TV via the console, can stream over-the-air TV to other devices in the home using the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices or the Xbox One SmartGlass app on Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
In addition, the DVR recording capacity of the Xbox One will be limited only by the size of the hard drive attached to the console — letting users “build an amazing collection of your favorite TV shows, movies and sporting events,” Microsoft said.
Also Tuesday, Microsoft provided a sneak peek at upcoming exclusive Xbox One game titles “Crackdown 3,” “Scalebound” and “Killer Instinct Season 3,” along with a new gameplay demo of Remedy Entertainment’s “Quantum Break,” starring Shawn Ashmore (“The Following,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”). The company announced “Halo Wars 2,” featuring an all-new storyline, slated to be released for Xbox One and Windows 10 in the fall of 2016.